Last week I introduced Michael Pollan’s concept of establishing personal policies about what we eat. Today I want to explore the idea of a personal policy that eliminates processed foods.
Why pick on processed foods?
As one nutritionist aptly put it, start with the “big rocks.” Removing them first leads to visible progress in short order. Processed food, junk food, and fast food are big rocks. It has become clear that the Standard American Diet (SAD) creates poor health in people eating it. If you have any doubt, remember Morgan Spurlock’s experiment in his documentary Super Size Me.
Removing processed food cannot help but make a difference. Without doubt, you will be eating better if you eliminate packaged and processed items from your food choices. And there are many other benefits to you and your community when you choose fresh, real food instead.
But really, is it possible?
The video below tells the story of Megan Kimble’s experiment. At the time, she was a city-dwelling 26-year-old who was busy and broke, living in a small apartment without so much as a garden plot to her name. But she cared about food: where it came from, how it was made, and what it did to her body. So she set herself a challenge: She would go an entire year without eating processed foods.
Megan Kimble is the editor of Edible Baja Arizona, a local food magazine serving Tucson and the borderlands, and is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times. Her book, Unprocessed, describes her year-long experience. She says, “My central hypothesis is that eating whole, unprocessed food does not cost significantly more than the ready-made substances you might gather from the industrial food chain. And, more importantly, it does not take significantly more time.”
She concludes by saying that eating whole, unprocessed food makes feeding herself simpler. That’s been my experience too. Your thoughts?